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While the Opposition Plays Political Games, Premier Cox Focuses on Improving Bermuda's Economy

Premier Paula Cox is paying no mind to the reunification of the United Bermuda Party under a new name. She's working to improve our economy.

She's been working overtime at the 47th Annual Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Convention & Exhibition telling Bermuda's story and drumming up business for our island.

The Premier began the day conducting a series of meetings with industry partners discussing both the challenges and positive outlook for the market.

Premier Cox:

In talking with the industry leaders, they spoke about the importance of innovation and quality. Our partners say that they are comfortable, satisfied and committed to Bermuda. The distinguishing features for them are our sound regulatory framework and speed to market.

We also discussed the importance of education to the sustainability of the industry and how we might expand the opportunities for younger Bermudians so they see the benefits of being involved in the insurance and reinsurance sector, even at the primary and middle school ages.

Yesterday (May 3) morning, Premier Cox told a gathering of industry professions at the annual RIMS breakfast that the Bermuda story was still touted across the various sectors of international business and in line with that story Bermuda was still very much open for business.

Premier Cox:

The international sector has managed in large part to withstand the impact of the recession and also continue to attract business despite the global turmoil and uncertainty year after year.

She underscored that there were many jurisdictions competing for business and to remain relevant, it was imperative that Bermuda met the challenge to differentiate itself in order to keep current partners coming back and to attract new business. Premier Cox:

Bermuda is seen to be a magnet and we want to ensure that we raise the bar to continue to attract you.

Premier Cox emphasized to the gathering that in Bermuda insurance had certainly been one of the mainstays of the economy. She added that it continued to be so because of its strong tradition of legal and political stability. She indicated that the strength of the business could be seen in 2009 when the total assets of Bermuda’s insurance grew from more than $23 billion to $496 billion. The total gross premiums were in the region of $118 billion and the captive sector grossed about $32.6 billion in premiums.

Premier Cox:

It is very important that we work to protect and grow that sector. Complacency cannot be our mantra. We must maintain a receptive balance so that we can continue to be competitive while still recognizing the premium that you pay and we pay for quality and reputation.

The Government must play an activist role to make sure that we do whatever we can to facilitate growth.

Other highlights from the RIMS breakfast included the Premier stressing the importance of Bermuda hosting the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes from May 31st – June 1st, 2011.

Following the breakfast address, Premier Cox participated in a panel discussion which included local business professionals representing a cross section of the international business sector as well as the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Later in the day, the Premier joined in the traditional tour of the RIMS Exhibition Hall, beginning with the Bermuda Booth. It should be noted that Bermuda is the only jurisdiction that is extended a
walk-about each year at RIMS as a tribute to its high standing in the industry. Such an acknowledgement affords an invaluable opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with industry partners.

The Premier concluded:

We will continue to demonstrate our willingness, welcoming nature and our support to the international business sector. Bermuda is setting the pace, however we cannot just rest on our laurels, so we need to find that 'Bermuda plus' factor. This is not just legislation; it’s a continued attitudinal shift which demonstrates that we recognise the value that the insurance sector adds to Bermuda. We want to ensure that we continue to move forward in partnership with them.

Premier Cox closed out the formal aspects of the RIMS visit yesterday by hosting last evening’s Bermuda Reception which saw industry professionals in attendance.

The Premier and the PLP Government aren't concerning themselves with the political tricks of the opposition. Instead, we're focused squarely on the issues that matter to people's lives: improving our economy, creating jobs and combating crime. RIMS shows our commitment to growing our international business sector - a sector that benefits our economy and creates countless jobs both directly and indirectly.

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